After saying in a radio interview that Spygate had “stained” the Patriots’ championships, Ravens coach John Harbaugh has now revised and extended those remarks.
Harbaugh issued a statement this afternoon after making those comments this morning, and he said in his statement that he wasn’t saying he personally believes the Patriots’ titles are tainted. He was saying he thinks others perceive the Patriots’ titles as tainted.
“I answered a question about playing within the rules and referred to the perception that the Super Bowl championships won by the Patriots and Saints have a stain,” Harbaugh said. “My reference was to the perception out there that came as the result of the league’s actions.”
The question asked to Harbaugh was about the Saints’ bounty scandal, and in answering Harbaugh largely ignored bounties and instead brought up Spygate. But in his clarification Harbaugh said he doesn’t want the coaches of either the Saints or the Patriots to think he was suggesting they didn’t earn their Super Bowl rings.
“I could have been more clear that I was referring to those viewpoints,” Harbaugh said. “I totally believe that the Patriot and Saint coaches and players earned those championships. Bill [Belichick] and Sean [Payton] both know that.”
Harbaugh said he has always liked and admired Belichick and contacted him today to say so.
“I called him to remind him of my respect for him,” Harbaugh said. “I also reached out to Tedy Bruschi, who rightfully defended those Patriot players and coaches on ESPN, to tell him that I agree with him that the Patriots earned every victory.”
The Ravens host the Patriots in Week Three on Sunday Night Football. Harbaugh may want to take some advice from his brother and prepare in advance for his post-game handshake.